Rabin, Christopher, Mubarak to Talk in Cairo About Peace

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will meet Friday in Cairo to discuss the peace process, according to the Egyptian news agency.

In Jerusalem, political source confirmed that the possibility of such a meeting had been raised. But they said no final decision had been made, Israel Radio reported.

The Egyptian announcement Monday of the three-way Cairo summit came as U.S. Middle East peace envoy Dennis Ross arrived in Israel on a shuttle mission aimed at laying the groundwork for the resumption of talks between senior Israeli and Syrian military officers, which are set to resume at the end of the month.

Ross met with Rabin as well as with the Israel Defense Force chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Amnon Lipkin-Shahak.

Ross told reporters after the meeting that he saw no obstacles to the resumption of talks between Israeli and Syrian military officers. The military talks were suspended in December.

“One of the most important purpose of my trips is to be working on the resumption of talks between senior military officers by the end of June,” Ross told reporters.

He also said he could not confirm that the Friday meeting in Cairo would take place, adding that Christopher’s final itinerary had not yet between worked out.

Earlier Monday, Israeli leaders spoke optimistically about the peace track with Syria.

Rabin, addressing a Labor Party convention in Tel Aviv, said Israel is on the brink of resumption peace talks with the Syrians.

He repeated his pledge that any draft of a peace treaty with Syria would be brought before the Israeli public in a national referendum.

“I believe that a majority of Israelis would approve peace with Syria,” Rabin said, “even if it is accompanied by a painful withdrawal” from the Golan Heights, the key Syrian demand for establishing peace with the Jewish state.

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres told the convention delegates that there are only seven months left to reach peace with Syria.

If it is not achieved by then, he said, it will not happen until after Israel’s 1996 national elections.

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